11 Westerns Every Guy Should See

11-westerns-every-guy-should-see

No film genre is as American as the Western. Greats like John Wayne and Clint Eastwood gained a helping of their machismo from starring in a handful. Many made us long for having a cold beer in a hot saloon and taking a stroll down a dusty trail. Of course, like any movie genre, they aren’t all good. These are the 11 Westerns Every Guy Should See.



The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

Any list of great Westerns will include at least one Clint Eastwood movie. The Good, the Bad and the Ugly is arguably (and in our opinion) his best. Quick on the draw, Eastwood (The Good), searches after the most desired object in many Westerns: Gold. One of the true classic spaghetti Westerns ever made. Amazon Instant iTunes



Django Unchained

Someone forgot to inform Quentin Tarantino that the Western was dead. Is Django Unchained your classic Western? No. But when is anything from Tarantino grouped in a specific genre. Django Unchained is a Western, in a sense, and a damn good one at that. Tracking the plight of Django (Jamie Foxx), the movie is a nearly three-hour adventure full of action and well-scripted dialogue. Oh, and just a heads up, it’s got a tad bit of blood in it. Amazon Instant iTunes



Westworld

An amusement park for adults doesn’t sound like the setting for a great Western. In fact, it doesn’t sound like the setting for a great movie at all. Factor in robots who are quick on the draw and kill people visiting, and you have a recipe for a low-budget comedy. Only Westworld isn’t. It’s good. Really good. Written and directed by Michael Crichton, Westworld is goofy, original, and, thanks in part to Yul Brynner, definitely worth a watch. Amazon Instant iTunes



True Grit

No disrespect to John Wayne and the 1960′s version of True Grit, but the 2010 film is better (though both are excellent). When the Coen brothers take on a project, you know it’s probably going to be solid, and True Grit doesn’t disappoint. If it wasn’t for being The Dude, this is what we would think of most when seeing Jeff Bridges. Amazon Instant iTunes Netflix Instant



Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid

It would to be tough to assemble a more manly duo than Paul Newman and Robert Redford (we don’t think Chuck Norris and The Rock made a movie together), and that’s what you get in this classic. It’s funny, well-scripted, and makes for something super enjoyable and easy to watch. The buddy Comedy/Western plot map has been followed many times, but Butch Cassidy and the Sundance kid is one of the originals. Amazon Instant iTunes Netflix Instant



Unforgiven

One of the few great, somewhat modern-day Westerns, Unforgiven is a lesson in character development. It unrolls like a slow drawl but is completely brilliant as it does so. Not just jam-packed with shootouts and shots of whiskey, Unforgiven will make you think from a moral perspective on the idea of violence. Amazon Instant iTunes



Once Upon a Time in the West

Once Upon a Time in the West is a meticulously orchestrated masterpiece. Henry Fonda steals the show as a dude you’d love to crush with an empty beer bottle and a six-shooter. It’s aesthetically brilliant and holds up to the test of time. Amazon Instant iTunes Netflix Instant



Blazing Saddles

Many Westerns are funny in a campy, internal chuckle kinda way. Blazing Saddles is not. It’s flat-out hilarious. One of Mel Brooks’ finest works, Blazing Saddles is a Western spoof that was really ahead of its time (we mean it had fart jokes before fart jokes were even a thing). It’s also the only movie we can recall where a dude coldcocks a horse. Amazon Instant iTunes 



The Treasure of the Sierra Madre

Money can make or break a man. That simple idea is at the heart of the brilliant characterizations in The Treasure of the Sierra Madre. Unlike many Westerns, the fight scenes aren’t what’s so great here. The Treasure of the Sierra Madre will make you look at yourself and be brutally honest about your level of greed and the role wealth plays in your daily life. Oh, and Humphery Bogart ain’t half bad either. Amazon Instant iTunes



Rio Bravo

Simply another classic Western. Rio Bravo features, perhaps, The Duke’s finest work. John Wayne leads a solid cast in this marathon flick. Rio Bravo has got all your Western bases covered: Saloon shootouts, sing-alongs, and plenty of booze. Amazon Instant iTunes



A Fistful of Dollars

– In a way, A Fistful of Dollars is exactly what we’d expect in a Western. And that’s a good thing. Clint Eastwood plays an uber-cool protagonist, it’s made by a classic Spaghetti Western director, and there’s no overly complicated plot. Just straightforward badassery. Amazon Instant iTunes

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  • AH

    High Noon?

  • Abe Froman

    So Silverado and Tombstone don’t make the list, but a sci-fi movie like Westworld and a comedy like Blazing Saddles did? Don’t get me wrong, they’re great–but they’re not westerns.

  • Movalator

    Good list but you forgot Dead Man and Shane.

  • Cole Henry

    My only issue with this list is that A Fistful of Dollars is the first movie in the Dollars Trilogy… which ends with The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly..

  • Cojacked

    Have to have Tombstone, big omission.

  • jabobward

    Sorry Charlie; without “The Searchers”, “High Noon”, “The Ox Bow Incident”, “The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance”, and “Shane” this list falls flat.

  • Bishop

    Have you never seen or heard of “The Wild Bunch?” It should rank number one. How about John Ford? This list looks like Netflix recommendations.

  • brian braun

    tombstone????? Back to the future 3????

  • tjhawk

    Magnificent Seven?

  • Chivealicious

    I’m with Bishop, this list is incomplete without Wild Bunch. Also, I might be in the minority, but as far as recent westerns go, I dug Open Range.

  • Drewski

    Open Range, Tombstone, magnificent Seven, Young Guns, Legends of the fall, this list is incomplete and inaccurate.

  • arthaliontir

    That list is so wrong in so many ways

  • arthaliontir

    That list is so wrong in so many ways

  • RandyTorres

    I don’t agree 100% with this list but I won’t start WW3 because of it either. The biggest omission in my estimation: The Wild Bunch. I would replace Westworld with this Sam Peckinpah masterpiece. Honorable mentions to High Plains Drifter, another Eastwood spaghetti western classic with a little supernatural thrown in for good measure and what the hell since you’ve already got 2/3 of the Man with No Name trilogy, why not throw in For a Few Dollars More. The holy trinity of spaghetti westerns Eastwood, Leone and Morricone!

  • Max

    not enough john ford. also THE WILD BUNCH